Sunday, June 28, 2009

Queen of Soul

On Friday Ken and I and some of our BFF's went to hear the Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin. The venue, the Hollywood Bowl, was the perfect place for an summer evening concert. We packed some delicious food for dinner at the bowl and then settled in for an evening with a legend.

Hector and Suzie
Mark and Connie

This is a shot of the big screen :Aretha entered the stage with the help of a man on each arm. She is a very large woman and loves to wear big long dresses covered in bling, fur, and feathers. As Ken would say "she's so big, she's so hefty". Her music was the best. She sang some favorites like Respect. We did feel like we had been to the church of Aretha as she had us give a moment of silence for Michael Jackson, said a prayer then gave us some rousing gospel music. The picture below is bad but the blue arrow points to Aretha.

She had a great sense of humor and was a lot of fun to see and hear perform.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From the Vacation Vault

In honor of Summertime and Vacation time a couple of snapshots from the vault of Past Vacation Photos .

Sameul P. Taylor State Campground. Circa 1996. This was one of our favorite places to camp when the kiddies were little. Just north of San Francisco it has beautiful trails through the redwoods. Of course our camping buddies were the Hendrickson's.
Dani, Katey, Sean, Scott, Nicole, Natalie, Jodi, Heidi

Sticky Fingers Directions:
Take marshmallow and pull and roll between the tips of fingers then stretch.
Nicole, Ken, Heidi, Natalie, Sean, Jodi.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Absolute Must Read

I just finished reading a book that I will never forget. It is one of those books that should become a classic. It was beautiful, haunting, and unforgettable. I read a grip of books but few have the impact that this one has had. I loved it!

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

( a Michael L. Printz Honor Book)

To quote the Narrator of the story (who happens to be Death):

"It's just a small story really, about among other things:
*A girl
*Some words
*An accordionist
*Some fanatical Germans
*A jewish fist fighter
*And quite a lot of thievery"

Really it is not a small story at all. It is about beauty of life as well as the brutality, guilt, friendship and so much more. It's about words and the power they have. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and their story. I admit that I miss the characters they were so real. I will tell you it is the first book in ages that made me weep. It shows what ordinary people can do in difficult times by being decent and kind. I wish I was better at writing so I could convey to what a great read this is. It was originally sold in Australia as and Adult Fiction. In the USA it has been marketed as a Young Adult Novel. I hope all of my kids will read this book. Below is a book video that was made about this book.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

Can't wait. Looks interesting. This was one of Sean's favorite books when he was a little wild thing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Look - A Couple of Boys Have The Best Week Ever

Look at this book:

A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee

The illustrations in this book are what first caught my attention.  I love the way the text says one thing and the pictures show us another.  Very clever and funny.  You will love the Grandparents,  your kids will love the boys and you will all want a similar summer adventure.  Share the book with your kids then get busy.  Here are some ideas I have to use this book as a jumping point for some summer fun:

* Make Banana waffles:


1 3/4 c. sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 - 4 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 c. milk
2 med. bananas, mashed

Sift first 4 ingredients into bowl. Make a well in center. Combine egg yolks, oil, milk and bananas in bowl; beat well. Pour banana mixture into dry ingredients; stir until just mixed. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in waffle iron using manufacturer's directions. Yields 4 servings.
* Take your kids to the Natural History Museum (that's what Bill  wanted to do)
* Take your kids to a local Aquarium to see the penquins (Sea World?)
*Check out books from the library with information on Penquins and Antarctica
* Watch "March of the Penquins".
*Send your kids to their Grandparents house for a week.
*Take your kids to the beach to see the tide pools. 
*Send your kids to Nature Camp (what?)
*Take time to have your own nature camp.  Hiking, bird watching, Arts and crafts, etc.

*Let your kids get out the big air mattress and sleep on it.

*Let your kids use said air mattress as they see fit

*Spend some time looking at the stars

*Help you kids make their own Antarctica or better yet get them a pile of supplies and let them figure it out on their own.

*If you are lucky enough to have access to mussel shells and rocks make your own Penguins.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


(DanKindergarten graduation)

Danielle informed me this morning on the way to school that she is officially a Senior.  Hmm, how does that work?  Well the Seniors from this year are done with finals and Graduate tonight so that makes her a Senior she says.  So here we go . . .  Senior Year.  Here is the Kirtley Family Senior Wall of Fame.

Natalie 2001

Sean 2003

Katey 2007

Lisa 1981

Ken 1979

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Scout Overnighter

What to do when the hubby is on an overnighter, it's cold outside, and you don't want to get in the car? Bake Bread!

Recipie courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa
Forget the egg whites on top next time---it looks funky. Oh I wish you could smell this.
Hot slice-
Breakfast Toast with honey from the hubby's hives-
The hubby better get home soon or it may all be gone.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Last night, well 3:00 in the morning, we were about blasted out of our beds. The house shook and we jumped up and said earthquake. Then as we sat there waiting for our heart rates to go back to normal we noticed the sky was still rumbling. It was actually thunder that had made our house shake. We don't often have thunder and lightening storms here in California. Today it has been cloudy, thundering, and lightening, and WARM. I saw the biggest rain drops ever this morning. I have to admit the unusual weather change is kind of fun.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Little Luxuries

If there is a store I would choose to just browse in and look at every little thing it would probably be Anthropology. First, their window displays and decor each season are amazing. They can do things with tissue paper, yarn, and balloons that are so creative. Second, the minute you walk into the store the smell hits you and you start to breathe a little deeper and slower. On my last visit these were a few of my favorite items. Luxuries for sure.... the one item I do love to buy is the Mistral Shea Butter soap in the Almond Milk Fragrance. It is such a clean, yummy smell. The bars are very large and have little scrubbies in them. The stacking measuring cups are a favorite of mine. I don't own them but I think they are so cool they also always have really fun measuring spoons as well. Anthro always has beautiful clothing and accessories. They have had beautiful scarves lately. Finally they always have drawer pulls, door knobs, and hooks that are so artsy and fun. The two pulls above I bought for Dani. She has been putting different Drawer pulls on her desk and dresser drawers.

I usually leave the store with absolutely nothing but love to cruise through every now and then to browse, touch, read, and explore.

Where do you like to window shop? Do you have a favorite store to browse through (I'm not talking Target here)?